Mid-Life Reflections #8

With my son graduating 8th grade yesterday and my daughter set to graduate from high school this Saturday, I look back with fond memories of them when they were just mere babies to who they are now and what they are becoming.  I am literally amazed at what they can do and what they can accomplish.  Granted my wife and I gave them the tools to navigate their way through life but they managed perfectly using their own sense and sensibilities.  Everything that they’ve achieved so far was due to their unique personality and innate traits; their exterior demeanor belies their true potential.  It is because of this that I cherish being a parent.  My children’s vim and vigor, no holds barred quest to grab a hold of what the world has to offer and run with it, is truly inspiring.  It keeps me on my toes, anxiously waiting to see what unfolds for them and how they’ll astound us.  Reflecting on my children’s journey into adulthood overwhelms me with pride and joy and is one of life’s gifts that I am truly honored to accept.

How A Filofax Created My “Bucket List”

 As I rummaged through the closet looking for something that I can’t even remember, I stumbled upon my Filofax.  Yes, I did say Filofax. 

 For those born in the 21st century, it’s a small looking folder that contains a calendar, day planner, notepad, plastic sleeves, ruler, pen holder, calculator, etc…  Basically it’s a personal organizer that helps you to manage your time, appointments, meetings and tasks.Bucket9

 It’s really a folder that you write down all the things you need or want to do on a given day and reference it when you can’t recall what it is you were supposed to do. 

 Back in the 90’s it was a real popular thing to have but I resisted the urge to have one because I felt it “dumbed” you down and made you prone to not using your brain to remember things. 

 When I saw the movie “Taking Care of Business” with Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin, my views on the Filofax changed.  I somehow became obsessed with owning a Filofax, even though I had no need for one.  I caved in and bought one to my delight; “I HAD A FILOFAX AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERED!

 Since I was in college, I had nothing on my plate except for my classes; I spent money on this thing so I felt like I had to write something in the Filofax to validate me buying the damn thing.Bucket10

 I jotted down my class times even though I already knew the schedule by heart.  I could not think of a single thing to put in it; one fateful day while in class, as the professor was droning on about God knows what, I wondered what I wanted to accomplish in my life.  Now I know that people make bucket lists all the time, but I started to do this when it wasn’t something popularly spoken. 

 One day I had one goal, the next day another and the next day another.  Soon I ended up with 4 and a half pages of things I wanted to accomplish or “Life Goals” as I called it, since I didn’t really know what a bucket list was at the time.

 My list wasn’t extreme like going skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks or climbing Mount Everest; my goals centered around my career in being an established writer, getting literary representation, sell my screenplays, finding a soulmate, getting married and buying a house just to name a few.

 It wasn’t exciting or glamorous but they were “MY” goals; they were all attainable only if I was committed to seeing it through.  As the years flew by, that Filofax of mine soon became a fixture in an obscure corner of a book shelf and then somehow ended up in storage within my closet. 

 Don’t ask me how or why that had occurred, but it did.  I guess somewhere along in my life things happened that caused me to forget about what I had wanted to accomplish.

 So cut to the present and back to the start of this post, when I stumbled across this decrepit Filofax I immediately opened it and rifled through the pages to where I scribbled my “Life Goals”.

As I looked through the list I made 20 some odd years ago, I grabbed a pen and started to check off what I had accomplished.  The ones that were accomplished put a smile on my face and satisfaction rippled down my spine. Bucket5

As for the ones that I didn’t do, I paused for a moment to wonder why that was.  Clearly it was something that I can still do.  “What’s stopping me?” is all that I could think of.  I felt that it was still a “Life Goal” that I still want to attain.

 As of this writing, I am trying my best to see things through and accomplish what I set out to do when I was a young man in college.  With a little luck, hard work and dogged determination, I know I’ll check off every single one of my “Life Goals” before I take leave of this Earth.